This semester I encountered much debate here on campus at TTU about the place of political views in the classroom. The talk was largely inspired (I'll grudgingly admit) by the activities of the campus chapter of the Young Conservatives of Texas, who started the "Professor Watch List" to monitor the unwelcome intrusion of professors' political views in the ostensibly neutral space of the classroom.
(I wrote my opinion about it in the Daily Toreador here: "Rogue Professor Seeks Political Persecution." )
As a follow-up, though, I wanted to share an interesting comment that a reader of The Chronicle Review posted online about this very debate, addressing the argument that for a professor to introduce his/her politics in a university classroom is to exploit the "power imbalances" of the instructor-student relationship:
Comment from "/case hardened":
"How about those other 'power imbalances' students will encounter after graduation? Will their bosses in the corporate world refrain from political discussion and pressure? How about the senior partners in their law firms? Their superior military officers? Why shelter students from the expression of political views? Just make certain not to test them on it."
Food for thought anyway. After a semester of writing op/ed pieces, I'm actually feeling less inclined than ever to be openly political.